Manhattan subway explosion ‘was attempted terrorist attack’, says mayor/suspect ID’d in video

The Guardian – Amanda Holpuch/Martin Pengelly/Paul Owen/Jamiles Lartey in New York – Monday Dec 11, 2017

Suspect arrested after attempted terrorist attack on New York subway – video report

A 27-year-old man was in custody on Monday after allegedly detonating a pipe bomb in a New York City subway station during the morning commute.

The suspect, Akayed Ullah, was one of four people injured in the explosion, which occurred at about 7.20am in a passageway near 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, in midtown Manhattan near Times Square, New York City police said.

None of the injuries were life-threatening. Daniel Nigro, the fire department commissioner, said Ullah sustained burns to his hands and torso while the three other people suffered “ringing ears and headaches”.

At a press conference, New York police commissioner James O’Neill said the suspect had “an improvised low-tech explosive device attached to his body” with Velcro and zip ties. Law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation told the Associated Press the short pipe was packed with explosive powder and was ignited with a Christmas light, matches and a nine-volt battery. But the blast was not powerful enough to turn the pipe into deadly shrapnel.

The New York Times, citing several law enforcement officials, reported that Ullah said he had been radicalized online and had acted in retaliation for US airstrikes in Syria and elsewhere against the Islamic State, or Isis.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said: “This was an attempted terrorist attack.” He also said there were “no known additional incidents or activities” but said there would be an increased police presence in the city. The attack is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, said an attack on the subway was “very frightening and disturbing” and “in many ways, one of our worst nightmares”.

“This is New York,” Cuomo said. “The reality is that we are a target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy, against freedom. We have the Statue of Liberty in our harbor. Anyone can go on the internet and download garbage and vileness, how to put together an amateur level explosive device, and that is the reality we live with.

“The counter-reality is that this is New York and we all pitch together, and we are a savvy people and we keep our eyes open … and we have the best law enforcement in the globe.”

As he had after the last terrorist attack in New York, Donald Trump used the incident to call for tougher immigration measures.

“As I have been saying since I first announced my candidacy for president, America must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country,” Trump said, issuing a formal statement rather than using his favored medium of Twitter.

“Today’s terror suspect entered our country through extended-family chain migration, which is incompatible with national security. My executive action to restrict the entry of certain nationals from eight countries, which the supreme court recently allowed to take effect, is just one step forward in securing our immigration system. Congress must end chain migration.”

The suspect, a Bangladeshi immigrant, was being treated at Bellevue hospital. Police said there was video of the attempted attack. Asked if the suspect was connected to the Islamic State terror group, O’Neill said the suspect “did make statements” but did not elaborate.

Read entire article here

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Posted by Teri Perticone


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